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Behind the bar

Whether you are looking for a good local beer, excellent wine, or an original craft cocktail to help you cool off this summer, The bar at The Golden Pig is able to serve you something fresh, just like the food served from the kitchen. As the bar manager, Tyler Randolph describes the mixed drinks served here, “They are inspired by the ingredients and are approachable. They aren’t confusing.” With a bit over ten years of bartending and mixology experience under his belt, Tyler enjoys using fresh, unique ingredients and creating cocktails with history.

Jennifer Colliau, an expert on classic cocktails and mixology, worked with the bar staff at The Golden Pig before the place opened, helping to develop creative, fun, and interesting drinks. She also happens to be the founder of Small Hand Foods, a line of handcrafted bar syrups made from quality, organic, and seasonal ingredients. These natural and flavorful syrups, produced as they were during the golden age of cocktails in the late 1800s, are the special base of many of the cocktails and shrubs we serve. One of the syrups, orgeat, is a French almond syrup, made from California almonds and a bit of apricot kernels, as well as organic cane sugar, orange flower water, and Biodynamic California brandy.

Have you ever heard of shrubs? Shrubs were the original sodas – tart, refreshing drinks with a vinegar preservative and fruit or herbal extracts. And if you haven’t tried one, you should! An uplifting non-alcoholic choice, the shrubs at The Golden Pig are accented with newly picked herbs and freshly squeezed juices.

If you are feeling adventurous, the bar offers the Smoky Mezcal, which utilizes a heated mini-branding iron with the restaurant’s logo that used to press onto soft pieces of wood, to infuse the smoky flavor in this tasty margarita. Los Nahuales Mezcal, Tapatio Blanco Tequila, agave, Dry Curaçao, and fresh organic lime are what make this fun cocktail so delicious. The bar program strives to be creative and entertaining.

The focus on artisanal ingredients extends naturally from food at the table and into the drinks served at the bar. Over 100 stunning local wines are sold at retail prices to make them more accessible for all. Delicious bottles from Yorkville Highlands down to Anderson Valley then inland to Comptche, Redwood and Potter Valley’s, Calpella, the Talmage Bench and back down the Russian River corridor, are behind the bar. Craft beers are on tap from Moonlight Brewing Company in Santa Rosa and Bear Republic Brewing Company in Cloverdale, and Humboldt Cider Company in Eureka provides a crisp, dry cider on tap. Germain-Robin in Ukiah, Solomon Tournour in Calpella, and Young and Yonder Spirits in Healdsburg are a few of the local sources for spirits that go into the cocktails.

Tyler also notes that he and the other bartenders are conscious of the details by using the proper technique and presentation needed to honor the components, for example,  using the appropriate glassware and thermometers to stir mixed drinks to the correct temperature. Sipping these honest flavors and exciting mixed drinks is an experience worth savoring.

Photo by: Mason Trinca of The Press (SF Choronicle)



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